Since we're all spending much more time at home these days, we decided to offer our online Fresh French Cheesemaking course for FREE!
This is a course that I have taught as private lessons to small groups of people in their homes. But since we aren't afforded that luxury amidst the quarantine, I'm making myself available to you virtually! What a better time to get into cheesemaking?
In this course, you'll learn how to make fresh goat cheese/chèvre, crème fraîche and cultured butter from the comfort of your own home. The video also includes helpful recipes once your tasty fresh cheese is complete!
To help you get ready for this class, we've listed a full list of equipment and ingredients you'll need. I also recommend watching the short course (only 9 minutes long!) from start to finish to familiarize yourself with the recipes before purchasing ingredients and getting started.
Have questions about the cheesemaking process? Leave a comment below and we'll get back to you in 24 to 48 hours.
One pro-tip: Save your left-over, nutrient, protein, and probiotic-rich whey from goat cheesemaking for wheymonade (lemonade with whey!) or for the water portion in your next home bread-baking or pancake-making project.
Necessary Equipment for the Course
Important note: Be sure to sterilize all equipment in boiling water before use! Since you'll be fermenting dairy, it's really important to have impeccably clean equipment.
- 1 Package Cheese Cloth (ideally, fine mesh butter muslin, buy here)
- 4 4-oz Ramekins, or Small Receptacles for Shaping Goat Cheese (optional cheese forms, buy here)
- Fine-Mesh Sieve
- Metal Spoon (ideally stainless steel, and slotted)
- Wooden Paddle or Spoon
- Measuring Spoons
- Liquid Measuring Cup
- Stainless Steel Pot (at least 1.5 gallon capacity)
- 1 to 2 Mason Jars, Pint to Quart-Sized
- Food Processor, or Hands and Arms That Don't Mind the Workout of Shaking Cream Into Butter
- Wax Paper, Parchment Paper, or Plastic Wrap
- 1 Clean, Thick, Large Towel for incubating
- A Cheese Grotto of any size to age and ripen your wine-soaked, leaf-wrapped homemade goat cheese to perfection. A piece of tupperware with holes cut into the top can be a secondary alternative (although we'd say the results of aging in plastic will not be as great as aging your goat cheese in a Grotto...)
Necessary Ingredients for the Course
- 1 gallon whole, pasteurized goat milk (Oak Knoll Goat Dairy recommended, available on InstaCart - do not purchase *ultra-pasteurized goat milk, it will not make a good curd structure)
- 1 pint heavy cream (ideally NOT ultra-pasteurized, just pasteurized)
- 1 quart cultured buttermilk (must list live, active cultures in ingredients)
- 1 bottle Microbial Rennet (buy here)
- 1 packet MA 011 powdered mesophilic starter culture (buy here)
- Salt with NO Iodine
Optional Ingredients: Fresh French Goat Cheese also known as Chèvre
Optional Ingredients for Fresh Goat Discs Wrapped in White Wine Infused Kale or Cabbage Leaves
- 1 head of kale or cabbage - or both!
- 1 bottle of inexpensive Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay
Optional Ingredients for Blanched Asparagus with Lemon, Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, and Fresh Goat Cheese
- 1 bunch asparagus (1/3 pound), trimmed and washed
- 1 lemon
- 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 oz freshly made goat cheese
- salt & pepper
Optional Ingredients: Homemade Crème Fraîche
Optional Ingredients for Crème Fraîche with Strawberries & Mint
- 1 pint strawberries, de-stemmed and sliced in quarters
- 1 bunch mint, leaves plucked and roughly chopped to release minty flavor
Optional Ingredients: Homemade Cultured Butter
Optional Ingredients for Radishes, Cultured Butter, and Maldon Sea Salt
- 1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced
- 2 T homemade cultured butter
- 1 t Maldon Sea Salt, or other tasty, high quality salt